Hi there! This post is part of a 31-Day writing adventure I’m embarking on. I’d love for you to join me and read along. You can find the introduction to the series, and a “Table of Contents” as each day goes live, right here. Thanks so much for dropping in!

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When I lost my Dad earlier this year, I mostly found comfort in places you would expect. My wonderful husband has been a great constant – always willing to listen, always present for me. My sweet little ones, who keep me moving, are walking reminders that life goes on and will go on. And, fully and completely, my faith in the God I’ve been talking about throughout this series (and for years before) proved built on a solid foundation: I was sad, disappointed, laid low, but I was not broken, I knew I could keep on.

It was unexpected, however, when the knowledge of my own death became a source of comfort at the loss of my Dad.

Let me e’splain.

I can almost remember where I was siting the moment the thought first occurred to me. Temporarily overwhelmed by the magnitude of grief and what it all meant, I remember thinking Am I going to have to live like this forever? Am I going to feel like this forever?

The first response in my mind, No, because you’re not going to live forever, was a source of comfort and peace.

Imagine grief as the task of moving a heavy piece of furniture. The task is yours to lift it and to move it to the right spot and you are making every effort to get it there. Your knees are practically knocking under the weight of it, but slowly, slowly step by step you’re getting closer to a place where you can sit that piece down. Your back is straining, your muscles are burning, your arms are as tense as they’ve ever been. You’re crazy ready to put it down, but you can’t put it down until you get it to the right spot.

What keeps you going? The knowledge that it’s just a little further to the place where you can take off that heavy burden and breathe easily. Just a few more steps and then…

Release. Relief.

In that Am I going to suffer with this grief forever? moment the first comfort was the knowledge that I wouldn’t suffer like that forever because, very simply, I wouldn’t live forever.

Then, I had the joy of remembering that my Dad had given his life to Jesus. When I lay down the heavy burden of grief (which is getting lighter and easier to carry) and stand on that eternal shore, I’ll get to see him again.


The knowledge that our lives are just a vapor on this Earth is an unexpectedly beautiful gift, a part of God’s glorious goodness. And we’re told to remember and meditate on this truth, because there’s so much wisdom to be found in it:

So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom. {Psalm 90:12}

Here are a few of the many gifts I’ve counted from the knowledge that life is brief:

  • We know that anything we’re going through will not last forever — even if for no other reason than the simple truth that we won’t be here forever.
  • We’re challenged to make the time that we have on Earth count — because we know it’s a fragile gift, and we’re aware that we don’t know how much time we have. Carpe diem, boys.
  • There is a wonderful clarity that comes from seeing this life in relationship to eternity: it is so brief, it is so special. This helps us discern which things are worth valuing and devoting time to and which are not.
  • Knowing that people die every day but the world keeps turning reminds us that we will die someday and the world will keep turning — this humbling truth brings us good perspective. We shouldn’t think too highly of ourselves.
  • We have something beautiful to look forward to. The way the Bible talks about heaven, it is hard to believe we have such a hard time remembering to keep our focus on that heavenly shore. Keeping our hearts focused on doing the will of God for the time that we’re given to do it, makes SO much sense in light of the awesome-beautiful eternity waiting for those who belong to the Lord.

Although death came about after the Fall and was not a part of the initial plan of God’s creation, in His glorious goodness, there are so many redemptive purposes in death. It is amazing that something so hard and heart-wrenching can also be a beautiful gift.

We’ve all seen Bucket List-type movies or heard stories about the things that people decide matter to them, the things they decide they want to do with their lives when they find out they don’t have much time left. It changes their perspective completely. They start valuing their family and friends over their work like never before, they value joy, and choosing joy, even in hard moments. They begin to value enjoying life and the experiences that are possible here with very little regard for fear.

And the important truth that we need to cling to? Each of us is a flower that sprouts today and withers tomorrow. We all have a terminal disease, we just have a little less knowledge of when it will take its toll.

Friends, you and I are among those whose days are numbered.

Remember that the best is yet to come — and live like you believe it.